I work on my laptop until I feel the car come to a stop and look out to see we’re on the tarmac.
“Are you ready, Mr. Woods?” the driver asks, and I nod as I grab my bag.
“As ready as I’ll ever be.”
“Here is fine,” I tell the taxi driver as he pulls up outside of my gram’s building. I pass him the cash as I open the door. “Keep it.”
It’s been a long day and I’m exhausted. After my flight got canceled I got the bright idea to take a bus. It was a longer trip than it was supposed to be because we got a flat tire and they had to call for a second bus. Then my phone died. All I want to do is fall into bed and sleep for fifteen hours straight. Grams doesn’t even know I’m coming, but hopefully it’ll be a happy surprise when she sees me.
I pull my bag over my shoulder and the doorman opens the door for me and nods. “Miss.”
“Thanks.” I fight a yawn as I hit the elevator button. I can feel a headache beginning to form and I need to lie down. If I let it get out of hand, it will quickly turn into a migraine, which is the last thing I need right now. I’m here to relax and to get away from Peter. He’s getting weirder by the day, and it’s making me uneasy. I started having crazy thoughts that he would break into my apartment or something. I need to lay off the murder podcasts I listen to, because it’s all going to my head.
I step onto the elevator and before long I hit the top floor. I’ve only been here once since Grams always came out to me when I was in college. We’d stay at some fancy hotel and live it up like a vacation.
I really should just move out here. I stayed after graduating because I debated getting my master’s and knew it would be easier to do it there. Now that I’ve finished my degree I haven’t made any steps to get it and I wonder if I really want it, or if I’m bored and looking for something to do.
When I step off the elevator, I hear music and voices coming from my gram’s place and smile. I guess I won’t be getting any sleep tonight. I knock on the door and no one answers. I can hear laughing over the music, so I knock harder this time.
“Raul, you’re late,” Grams says as she pulls open the door and then is shocked to see it’s me standing there. “Sugar!”
Grams grabs me and pulls me in for a giant bear hug. “I didn’t know you were coming.” She kisses me all over my face, which is something she’s done my whole life. It doesn’t matter how old I am or where we are.
She waves her hand dismissively at the question. “He’s just someone coming over to try and get in my pants.” But she leans in and winks. “I might let him.”
My grandma has a more active sex life than I do. Hell, she has a more active life than me altogether. It’s hard to believe we’re from the same family. She’s an extrovert and I’m a complete introvert.
“Everyone, my granddaughter is here!” she announces to the group as she pulls me into her place.
“Hi.” There are at least twenty people here and I wave my hand nervously. Grams points everyone out, telling me their names like I could possibly remember them all. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“You need a bingo card?” an older lady with pink hair asks.
“No, thanks.” I look at Grams. “I kind of want to lie down, my head hurts.” Maybe I can sneak off to the guest room.
“Migraine?” She touches my forehead with the back of her hand.
“Well, shit. The spare room is a mess. I’m having it redone.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. I should have called and not popped in on you.”
“Oh please. You know I want you here anytime you’re able to come.” She turns to the crowd and waves a finger. “Don’t have any fun without me. I’ll be right back.”
She grabs a key off the entryway table and we walk out.
“Where are we going?”
“Next door. You can stay at Devin’s.”
I stop walking and shake my head. “No way.”
She’s been talking about Devin for months and how she wants me to meet him. She goes on and on about how handsome he is and that he needs to find a nice girl to settle down with because he works too much.
“I’m not meeting him right now. I’m a hot mess.”
“What are you talking about? You’re always adorable.”
I roll my eyes because that’s how she sees me, and adorable is not what I want a man to think when he looks at me.